Villanueva cops WBC International Super Flyweight belt

Mark Escarlote on Nov 29, 2015 12:46 AM
Villanueva cops WBC International Super Flyweight belt
HAIL TO THE KING --- Arthur Villanueva with his newly-won WBC International Super Flyweight belt.

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu --- The knockout never came.

His prediction of the bout not going the full 12 rounds didn’t happen.

Still, “King” Arthur Villanueva went out of the ring with the WBC International Super Flyweight belt tightly wrapped around his waist late Saturday night.

Villanueva took the vacant title via split decision win over Mexican Victor "Spock" Mendez to highlight the successful Pinoy Pride 34: “Back with a Vengeance” at the Hoops Dome here.

Two judges scored it 117-111 and 116-112 for the 26-year-old Villanueva. One judge had Mendez in front, 115-113.

Villanueva, who rebounded from his first loss last July to improve his card to 28-1, said that he didn’t expect the bout to go the distance but admitted that the Mexican is one tough – and cunning - customer.  

“Noong una di ko in-expect yun. Sabi ko noong una na “nana-knockout-in koi to”. Naramdaman ko rin na takot din siya na tamaan ng kanan ko tapos na-feel din niya ‘yung power ko. Nag-hope na lang ako na makatama rin ng timing yun ang gusto ko,” said Villanueva.

Villanueva added that he abandoned the idea of putting Mendez down, realizing his opponent's reach advantage.

“Noong mataas na round na, hindi na ako nag-attempt ng knockout. Sabi ko mahirap ang reach advantage niya. Di ako makatama ng jab e,” he said, adding that Mendez indeed packs a powerful punch. “Malakas din yung kaliwa’t kanan niya. Natamaan ako sa body, sa mukha. Talagang nasaktan ako.”

He said that Mendez, a knockout artist whose 10 of 15 victories by knockout didn’t last three rounds, was able to take his punches and was not committing much to engage in a brawl. 

“Nag-pacing talaga ako kasi sa fourth round ata ‘yun nang matamaan ko siya ng malakas, sabi ko kaya niya ('yung suntok ko). Tapos nag-control din siya, na parang iniipon niya ang lakas niya. Siguro iniisip niya na kapag tumaas na ang round humina ako. Kaya sabi ko huwag ko rin ibuhos ang lahat ng lakas ko. Noong mga last rounds nag-pacing na lang ako,” Villanueva said.     

Villanueva led in the scorecards after the fourth and eight rounds with the ring announcer announcing the scores under the open scoring system.

The Pinoy pug had an opening in the ninth round when he caught Mendez with a left that rocked the Mexican but Villanueva failed to capitalize.

Mendez absorbed his third career loss that snapped his five-match winning streak. He has 19 wins and two draws.

Meanwhile, Milan “El Metodico” Melindo survived erstwhile undefeated Mexican Victor Emmanuel Olivo via split decision, 94-96, 96-94, 96-94, in their non-title flyweight bout.

Melindo improved to 32-2 win-los card while handing Olivo, a late replacement for Carlos Fontes, suffered his first loss in 10 bouts in his first fight outside Mexico.

AJ “Bazooka” Banal (34-2-1, 22 KO) scored a third round technical knockout win against Emilio Norfat (24-7), flooring the Tanzanian twice – in the first and third rounds - before going in for the kill.         

Upstart Kevin Catajara scored his second professional fight victory with a fourth round TKO win over Indonesian Faris Nenggo.

Catajara sliced a cut above Nenggo’s left eye in the third round. The ring physician advised the referee to stop the contest 2:43 in fourth round.         

In other results, Christian Bacolod won via first round KO (2:39) against Allan Garing; Cris Ganoza defeated Roga Libres via unanimous decision; Melvin Jerusalem disposed Crison Omayao via second round TKO (2:30) while Rocky Fuentes knocked out Indonesian  Afrizal Tamboresi in the second round (1:01).

Pinoy Pride 34 will air on November 29, Sunday at 10 a.m. on ABS-CBN channel 2 and 9 p.m. on ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel 23.





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